Thursday, December 27, 2007

Once More from the Top

Finally, I begin the process again. That was by far the longest break I’ve taken for ages. On Thursday, January 3 I start rehearsals for The Night of January 16th. It’s a rough schedule with only Tuesdays and Saturdays off followed by 5 performances a week, Wednesday through Sunday. The Sunday is a matinee. I hate matinees.

I am also filming a movie. I hope. This is my third attempt at trying to do some film work. One of them you watched fall apart on this very blog and the second I didn’t even bother blogging about because it seemed like it was on shaky ground. And it was. But this one, The Callahan Contraption, seems much more organized, is filming pretty locally to me, and has a fun and funny script. Plus it has physical violence in it from my character. That is ridiculously exciting. I love to beat stuff. People and stuff. Stuffs better though because you can actually beat it. I have a meeting with the writer/director and the actor who plays the male lead. It’s some kind thesis project so I’ll have more details to blog about after the meeting.

And so begins my downward spiral into manic obsessive navel gazing once again. Oh, I’m SO looking forward to that day when I once again realize that I am a completely talentless hack who should never try and act again.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Where I've been and where I'm going

Haven't written in a while for a lot of reasons. I was taking a break from theater. I had been doing shows back to back to back for a bit and I was getting worn out so when my son didn't get a part in a show I didn't accept one. I've decide to do the NaNo. Which is the project where you try to write a 50,000 word novel during the month on November. That was pretty time consuming planning wise leading up to November 1 and continues to be time consuming obviously. So I won't have a lot of time to talk here even if I do have something to say. Which leads me to where I'm going. Seems I finally have a read through for The Night of January 16th. It will be the morning of November 17th. So I may pop through and say something them. But otherwise. Toddles until January.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Audition with J

On Saturday I will be auditioning for The Boxcar Children. But that's not the exciting part. I'm going to be auditioning with my 8 year old son, J. My son has has shown absolutely no interest in theater until now. I started dancing when I was 5 so I was kind of hoping he would take after mom and want to be a performer too. But no. All he wanted to do was to play sports. Soccer, swimming, baseball. Arrrgghhh. I hate sports. I think they are boring. Ok, I like the swimming. But baseball is like being in a light coma and it's freaking cold during soccer season. I think I like swimming because each heat lasts about 5 minutes and then onto something new. Plus it's warm and I get to be a timer sometimes so I have something to do. But I digress. He wants to do a play!

Now for the more realistic part. I don't think he'll get cast for two reasons. First, he has absolutely no performance experience and when I try to work with him all of the lines a hilarious to him so there is a lot of giggling. Not a lot of focus. But he may surprise me at the audition. I have seen him totally out of control and then when he is talked to by an outside adult figure he pulls it altogether and is downright helpful and attentive. Secondly, he's 8. The casting call said 10-18 and when I made the appointment I was informed that it was more of a guideline but that it was also usually the casting range for this particular company.

I've never worked with this theater company before so I don't know what their standards are. He may be way out of his league or he may be so cute that they forgive the stilted acting. I mean he is 8. I'm only auditioning because I think it would be the coolest thing ever to do a show with J. And if he doesn't get a part and I do then I'm not sure what I would do. I may take the part because The Boxcar Children are his favorite books which is why he wants to audition in the first place. But I did want to take this time off to spend the holidays with my family. I am always involved in a production during Halloween and Thanksgiving. But I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Driving Home After Production Meeting

This [...] is odd, their company is A and they have a lot of people, a lot of equipment, a lot of ideas, but they seem scattered and unorganized, I guess that's the word I want. Everything appears it will take a lot longer than it should be because they work through things in meetings like this that probably should have been work through before the actors came, but I enjoyed it.

Just Arrived

I am here now. I am half an hour early because I am crazy about being late. So, I am always ridiculously early wherever I want to go, I don't see anybody that I know yet, but I haven't gone into the building and here I am.
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Driving to Production Meeting

So, I am driving to my production meeting and I am a little nervous, which is strange because it's not like I never had a new group of people worked with, I think it's just the process is different and so it's freaking me out a little and also the traffic is really heavy, which I find odd at 9:30 in the morning outside of Middletown, what can you do?
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Friday, August 31, 2007

First Film

So I got a call today. I have my first production meeting for the film. It will be next Saturday. So that's exciting. Not much else going on acting wise. I should be doing a table read for The Night on January 16th soon. I haven't heard much about it yet. I'm afraid I've only read through it once. I started highlighting one night but I got tired and stopped before I got to the end. I'm a little scared about the part. Can I do it? I certainly hope so. Maybe I'll read some Meisner this weekend to give me a little something to hold onto. Although, sometimes reading Meisner makes me feel like a miserable failure.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Call

I got a call from the producer last night that said that I impressed him and the casting team so I should be getting a call on Wednesday from the director. So here's the question, did I get a part or THE part?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Long Day

I went to my audition on Saturday. The drive wasn’t too bad. The 91S/95S exchange in New Haven was a stand still nightmare. But having driven that stretch my whole life I didn’t expect anything different. The test took place in a meeting room in an old rectory. When I got there, a little early so as to rest and prepare, there were two different dramas going on with the production staff. First, it seems that they were in the process of firing the wardrobe woman. The artistic director, a rough looking woman in her 40s, was pissed of and raging. The other drama was a stripped screw on the tripod so that the camera would stay steady. This was actually the drama that most affected my audition. There other thing was drawing the attention of the producer and casting team but no camera, no screen test.

I got my four pages and went over them with this tiny little guy. I only point out his height because we were going to do this scene where I would pick up this bartender and then kill him. It’s a sexy scene. I am 5’9” and I was wearing 4” heels. So this tiny guy was like a small child next to me. We ran through the scene maybe 4 or 5 times. He wasn’t helpful at all. When I asked what was expected he just couldn’t, or wouldn’t tell me anything. And he seemed pretty buddy buddy with another actress who was also auditioning for the same role so… But whatever.

Time is still ticking on. Now it’s noon. And have I mentioned I haven’t eaten? I had an 11:00 am call and it was supposed to take 15 minutes. I’ve been there an hour and I’ve only gotten cursory blocking and no idea when I will be up. I go for a smoke with one of the PAs. She’s really nice. She’s from Hartford. Her husband is in Iraq. I like her. I wonder if I’ll see her downtown someday? Oh my god. Now it’s 1:30 and they finally, finally have the screw.

2:00. I don’t like the set up. All of the auditioners are in the same room and they call us and we do the bartender scene with the mini man. There is one girl whom I like. But she is very young. Maybe 17. I do my scene. It’s a little awkward at one point because there is a chair on stage that wasn’t there when we ran through it before. But I covered it alright and think I came off well. Now, they want to see how we interact in certain combinations. So I’m thrown into a scene and play all three parts with two different girls. And we do that for a while.

But now they want to take a break and do auditions for a completely different film. I’m invited to ad lib for Girl # 2. We do it three times from different angles, with different people. I am cast. It is a 20 minutes short about a guy who goes through all kinds of ridiculous contortions to pick up girls and in the end finds one by just being himself…awww. Girl #2 is in a night club while he tries to obnoxiously and over confidently pick up women. One day of filming in October.

2:45. Last part of the test. Scream with rage. Screaming is usually quite hard for me. But I was actually starving, exhausted, and a little pissed off. It came off loud, long, and quite gutturally angry.

And then it was over and I was on my hour long drive home with my meatball sub and my internal discussion about what was good and what was bad. Truthfully, I don’t know. I’ve never done film before so I don’t know what to think or feel. I was malleable to direction and suggestion. I played three different characters very differently. What else could I do? I should hear one way or the other by Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Photos and Sides

Tonight I am going to get new headshots taken. I'll put some up somewhere, probably flickr, and then post a link and ask for comments. Not that I have enough readers to actually comment but, you know, just in case. I love doing headshots. It's just ridiculously fun to put on all kinds of clothes and jump around acting goofy and get your picture taken. I did a little modeling for a while and if I could have handled the complete objectification mindless body aspect of it better I might have pursued it more seriously. The actual work is really fun. It's just all the other bullshit that blows.

I also got the sides for my film audition. Actually I got the whole script. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it now that I read it. Until I go down and audition I don't really have a handle on whether this is something I want to do or not. And, this may seem weird, but the producer just seems far too excited about my coming down to audition. It's not like I'm a hot property or anything. Especially not in film. I've never done any film. I do have a good reputation on the stage but I doubt any of the people involved in this project know anything about my actual work. Maybe he's just a nice guy. And I'm reading too much into his enthusiasm. I'll let you know. I'm going to learn my lines tonight or tomorrow so that I'm prepared.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Evil, Beautiful, European Looking

I've never made a film before. I had one audition once at a cattle call and I became so nervous I totally blew it. I was vibrating and I could hardly read. Hence came the title of this blog. So I am ecstatic that I will have a chance to try again. No details yet. Just that there will be a call on the 19th that I am invited to attend. Yippee. I called to make an appointment this morning but there was no answer. It's a small indie thing and as my friend K pointed out, maybe he has a day job. But I want details now. If only to give me something more substantial to freak out about than a nebulous audition. Something to actually start preparing for. Besides what to wear based on a four word character description that I used as a title for my post.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

And it all Comes Crashing Down

I hate the end of the run. Full of ‘the last time I will’ moments. But let me just recount the shows because it was quite an eventful weekend before I move on to being sappy and macabre.

Friday night I was almost killed. When I run out for Sweetness all wet it’s pretty freaking slick out there. And I got to the stage a little early so I may have been a little over confident about my speed and control because I went on a wacky tumble that ended with me hanging onto the edge of the dock and pulling myself up over the edge. It very could have very well ended up with my head whacking the corner. But from my dance days I’ve learned two things. No fear. And how to fall with as little injury as possible. I still came down on my right hand hard enough to hurt my wrist a little. And the audience thought it was just hilarious so at least I got a great laugh out of it. I also hurt my right forearm when I hit G in Hearts earlier. I managed to really get angry and worked up and I just came down on her with real violence. Fortunately because of the way it’s staged I only managed to hurt myself so that’s good. Over all I thought we had an awesome show though and the audience, while small, was very fun and very responsive.

Saturday had the best Hearts performance by far. By the whole cast. Something about Saturdays sends G into a weird speed thing and the beginning and truly that gets us all on our toes. And J decided that he would make all new choices for all of his lines in our scene and that was so refreshing. And again I hit G pretty hard. So hard in fact that I had a giant puffy bruise on my arm. Still have a sore spot from it today. And then there was Sweetness. It started out great. Actually it was great. Except there was this thing on the stage. I don’t know what it was. It looked like a half eaten strawberry or something. It was slightly smeared and red. And my attention kept being drawn to it. I wanted to just ignore it. But there it was. Looking really gross. And then I told the chicken joke. The actual joke is “Why did the pervert cross the road? Because his dick was in the chicken.” The joke I told was “Why did the chicken cross the road? Because his dick was in the chicken.” And then suddenly realizing that it didn’t make any sense at all I said “Wait. What? That’s not right.” And then I went forward. And everyone said “hey great cover.” “So in character.” But the truth was I was actually just baffled for a moment. Knew I totally blew the joke and I had to try to recover…well, something. Then I was right back on track and totally had to put it out of my mind. So I guess it was all good. After the show I realized that my in-laws were there. Thank god I didn’t know before hand. It would have made making out with E weird in a way that I didn’t have to deal with thanks to the fact I was oblivious.

Sunday was a blur. We had a backstage emergency before the show. Someone left the shower on all night so the dressing rooms and the back hall were completely flooded. So it took a long time to clean that up so we were all changing in the green room. And it contributed to the only screw up we had the whole night. When J came on stage as “Daddy” in the memory sequence his shoes were all wet and he slid on and immediately smirked at me. So instead of the look of fear that I usually give him. I had to look at his collar and try to control my laughter. I managed it but it took me a long time to bring myself back into the scene so I could work myself up to the fight. So I’m afraid the whole confrontation started a little flat. My husband said the whole thing was good and he’s actually a pretty harsh critic so I trust him that most of the worry and angst was internal and maybe even fed the scene. Sweetness was bittersweet. The whole thing went quite well. But the whole thing made me sad because that show was one the most joyful things I’ve ever done. I loved laughing with the boys. We really did have a nice easy relationship on stage. And there was so much mirth and joking. I’ll even miss kissing E. I won’t miss getting doused with water in my jeans every night though. That did suck big time.

So, it’s over and now it’s time to decompress. And take a vacation. I’ll be hiatus for a while yet. Until I start auditioning again. I did get a call yesterday to read for an independent film in New Haven. But I just came off a run and I’m tired and a little beat up. And I promised the family I’d take sometime to spend with them. Which will be hard because I hate to be without project. It’ll be a little easier knowing that I’m going to be starting rehearsals for a show in January. But January seems so remote that I know that before too long I’ll be looking for a project yet again soon.

What will I miss?

Having C do my hair for every show.

“I ain’t never been young.”

Laughing with J and E.

Cast parties.

Wearing that dress in Hearts.

“Oh that’s how your gender defines itself. You’ve got to be joking.”

K, M, G, J, & E.

“Oh, I assure you there will be nothing proper about it.”

Our great minimalist set.

Being on stage.

I hope to put up a little video of the show if I can figure that out. But I’ll be on break a bit so I hope that the three of you that are regular reader’s will check in every so often and see what I’m up to again when I start auditioning and preparing for my next show. I know I have a table read of The Night of January 16 sometime in September so I’m sure the will be a flurry of posts about that,

Friday, July 20, 2007

Opening Weekend

Opening weekend was exhausting. I have a show tonight and I am still tired from last weekend. Mostly it was the heavy partying after each show after hell week followed by a full work week where I had to get up an hour earlier than I’m used because my son is at day camp so he needs a ride at exactly the same time I do so I take the bus instead. Even writing that run on sentence about it was strenuous. But the shows went well so I am quite pleased. The only problem is that the complete lack of advertising means a complete lack of audience. Sunday I could swear we played for 20 people. Which is disheartening. I was thinking about sending around an email saying “Always wanted an opportunity to see me punch a drunk and make out with a quadriplegic? Now’s your chance!”

So, details? I don’t have a lot. Its funny performance is always like a dream to me. I just do it and then I wonder how it all went. Friday I was a little edgy. No food and lots of coffee. And I am hugely self- conscious about my accent. It keeps me from just letting go because I’m so busy wondering if everyone thinks I sound like a jack ass. And M was beautiful when she got all weepy at the end of Heart. And Sweetness of course went smoothly. It always does. Oh we are just the best. The two girls started Hearts on Saturday at really rapid pace. J asked if we were doing meth in the girls dressing room. I think they shaved about five minutes off the opening of the play. J’s entrance seemed to bring the show back on pace though. I was super relaxed through this performance. It may have been finally opening and then being exhausted from getting home from a party at 4:30 am but it was calm an easy. And that’s what I always want to achieve. Just a natural Zen like state when I am on stage. Like when I used to dance and I didn’t think. I just did. All that think really screws you up. Keeps you from being real. And Sunday well. I dunno. I hate matinees and it wasn’t a great performance. I did have a flub and called Aunt Ruth Aunt Grace instead. But it wasn’t bad really. Nothing to write home about I guess.

This break has been nice though. Although I miss everyone. Even the ones I don’t particularly care for. Closing weekend is here already! This was by far the shortest run I’ve ever had for anything.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wet and Screwed

Tuesday was a pretty good rehearsal. And thankfully short so I could go the Roger Waters concert which was awesome. We did costumes and light make up. And I got wet for the dumped in the lake scene. I was ridiculously cold because the air-conditioning in the theater is running full blast even though the house is empty. And then after I get off stage just dripping away and we realize there isn’t even a single freaking towel in the theater. So I dry myself with paper towels and K wanted to run again. Run. Again? Well, E, J and I just bullied her into letting us go.

Last night was good and not so good. Hearts went beautifully. We ran the slap about five times before we went up so I was a little surprised that it went awry. But G is pretty new to theater and she was caught up in the moment so she forgot to put her hand up. I think it still looked ok but I think we are going to practice doing it a lot tonight so it comes more easily and more naturally. But the not so good part was the fact E didn’t show up for rehearsal. And I freaking knew it was coming too. The way he was talking on Tuesday just let me know. I’m sure he found a party or something that was way more interesting than coming to our little rehearsal. I joking said something to K about him probably being down at the half door. But truly it was only half joking. What a jerk. J, our 18 year old stage manager, had to sit in for him in Sweetness. I did not make out with him. Though I should have. It totally would have made his day. And then that was it. We went for a quick cocktail afterwards and then I went home and pretty much climbed into bed. I am incredibly happy that I don’t have to work tomorrow so that I can sleep all day and be fresh for the show. So last rehearsal tonight!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Off Topic But It's My Blog!

I wrote a review of the Roger Waters Dark Side Tour Concert that I went to after rehearsal last night at my other haunt Last.Fm. If you're interested in all things musicky it's the place to go!

pigs fly

One of my favorite moments at the Roger Waters concert last night. Tried blogging it from there but I must have been competing with too many signals or something because I couldn't get it to send even with full battery and great reception. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Made it Through the First Night of Hell

Hell was an excellent name for last night. No live blogging obviously. It was just too crazy. We staged the fight. Then we restaged it. And then we staged it once again. And tonight we’ll be staging it yet again. We ran the whole show twice. In costume, no makeup. It was a long evening. I started to get ridiculously tired by the time we did Sweetness. I was really goofy. Oh well.

The director at one point said that she prefer we use the term tech week rather than hell week. Well, she can wish anything she wants. Its still hell week. But all complaining aside it was nice to be on stage with actual props. K was confused when we all laughed when she said she wanted to reblock something in Sweetness. “Why are you all laughing?” Why? I have never reblocked and then blocked again. And again. And still reblocking so close to the opening. I mean I’ve had reblocking because something doesn’t work out exactly as planned on the actual stage but this is just crazy. I keep expecting her to tweak the blocking right after a performance for the next day. Or during pick up rehearsal between weekends. Or hell stop a performance and reblock a scene.

I went out for a quick drag between shows and the Artistic Director H came out and gave me some very nice compliments about the way I move on stage. And then he cast me in a show called The Night of January 16 by Ayn Rand which will be playing in February. As “an ice cold bitch.” He asked me if I thought I could handle it. Hell yes I can handle it.

I was tired when the rehearsal ended that I took off my costume for Sweetness that is my own Supergirl T-shirt and jeans, picked up some stuff, and then put them back on as if to go home in them. But tonight should be better. We should start earlier and I think we will only run once. I hope we will only run once. Will try the live and microblogging thing again tonight.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Hell Week

And so it begins. This is my opportunity to try out live blogging tonight and throughout the week because except for work I will not see the outside of theater until Friday night. Just a little bring up to date because I have clearly been too lazy to blog regularly for a while. On Monday we had an absolutely excellent rehearsal for Hearts wherein I learned the secret of Chloe’s character is far too much caffeine on an empty stomach. I was so caffeinated I was vibrating. And while I definitely will not be recreating that effect with actual iced lattes with an extra shot of espresso I now know how she should move and behave so yippee for that. We made K, the director, cry. In the good way. And on Tuesday I just had a ridiculous amount of fun doing Sweetness. And no reblocking. Woo hoo.

So tonight we will be finally choreographing the fight for Hearts and the fall from the platform in Sweetness. So thank goodness and wow am I nervous about those two events as they both heavily are focused on me.

I did my shopping for the make-up to cover the dark tattoo on my ankle. Freaking $88 in make-up and brushes and it’ll probably still show. And I only need it covered for about 2 minutes. It’s completely covered by my clothes all other times. I also bought the most bizarre undergarment I’ve ever owned. It’s an adhesive push up bra. Which means it’s a bra that sticks to your boobs with no straps of any kind so you can wear it with a backless dress. It’s kind of disturbing.

So, if I figure out this live blogging thing tonight I’ll be posting pictures and microblog entries. Which should be interesting. To me anyhow.

Monday, July 2, 2007

And We Reblock Once Again

I open in 11 days. Eleven. Wow. Doesn't seem like we had any rehearsals. And on Saturday there was MORE new blocking. If I have one complaint with K as a director it's the amount of reblocking that she does. Granted a lot of the reblocking is easier and makes sense but there are moments of limbo where I am completely uneased by not know where the heck I am supposed to move to. I guess this keeps me on my toes.

went quite well on Saturday I thought. The altercation still won't be blocked until Sunday because that's when we will finally have the platforms that we need. I am very much looking forward to it. But I thought the feel of the play overall was quite nice. I worry about that one a lot. And I'm not sure why. I know the words and the whole feel of my character is starting to be quite comfortable.

The reblocked kiss in Sweetness is done now too. And I think kiss is no longer that right word at all. I'm going to go more with make out session. The first time I tried it the whole wheel chair started to roll away from me and when J went to throw me backward into the "water" there was no way. I could only continue to fall further forward until I landed with my face in E's lap. It got quite a laugh but the show cannot go forward until I fall and TJ and Jake believe that Jules has drowned. I think I got over my trepidation about making out with E. Simply because climbing all over him and the chair is kind of fun. K did it first to show me what she wanted and I guess when I saw her do it I was like fuck it I can do that too.

Well, big rehearsal tonight with H, the theaters artistic director, and I'm a little nervous. But not that much. He is always very complimentary of my work. I think it's hilarious that Sweetness is the show he's coming to watch. It's not nearly as complex as Hearts and it's really very short. It's my last working rehearsal before hell week too so I'm a little freaked that we will reblock once again. But even if we do I'm sure it will be fine.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I hurt myself pretty bad today and can barely stand on my left leg so I’m going to be skipping rehearsal. Yeah. I feel like an asshole. But I can’t do it tonight. It won’t be worth anyone’s time for me to pretend that I could.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Of Good Rehearsals and Fragile Egos

I had a good rehearsal of Hearts last night. The kind where I come home and tell the husband “I was good tonight.” I like those. And I fucking hate them. Because now it means the next rehearsal I will feel horrified by my total lack of <fill in the blank> and flattened because I felt the last rehearsal went so well. It’s a familiar cycle. And I hear you say ‘But you just identified the problem so now you can just face that soul crushing experience and say hey, I know this is just a by product of being so elated that all of your flaws are super prominent.’ And I’ll say to you ‘You’d think so, wouldn’t you?’ And I think the problem is two fold. First, I’m not altogether sure that the ego whacking I’m going to take is a terrible thing. It keeps me humble which makes me work hard all the time and it allows me to see where I was over confident before. The things that weren’t as truly meaningful as I thought they were in the moment of that last rehearsal. And second, even when I prepare myself for all the wrong things that I think I’m going to see in myself next go round I always leave some stone unturned. And it’s always under that fucking stone that the horrible disgusting squishy thing is lurking that’s going to make me cry and want to run away.

But enough about me and my fragile ego. I want to gush about my cast for a bit. M was so good last night. She had a private rehearsal to go over her monologues on Saturday and you could definitely see the work. She really is very good as Grace. And I’ve become more and more impressed with J. When the sweet scare little boy comes out he’s just a wonder to watch. Although his accent sometimes sounds a little bit like Foghorn Leghorn to me. And G is great as the drunken overbearing Mama. I hope that I can live up to their standards. That I can be just as good and do the show justice.

Oh yeah. And the kiss between Grace and Chloe was taken out. Yeah. I’m sad too.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Disconnect and a Confession

I am usually very conscientious when it comes to my roles in the theater. It's a matter of pride and a certain work ethic I gained from decades of dancing. That's why my current blasé attitude about learning the lines and even thinking very hard about my character is both a surprise and an embarrassment for me. I mean I know my lines. Not in the solid I know the words will just come way that I usually learn them but I know what they are. What my cues are. What the last words of my lines are definitely. That sort of thing. But not well enough that I can really concentrate on listening and doing because the words are not so ingrained that they will just spill out no matter how I work.

And my lack of character development is also surprising to me. I haven’t really thought about either of these women or what they really want. And that is a terrible lack. I’m trying to play them natural, of course. Make all of their movements real, all of their words that come out of my mouth real. But I don’t know why. I really didn’t see this total disconnect from what I am doing and the characterization until we did the rehearsal without E for Sweetness. It was like floating free without the third pin to hold us down. And I started to ask myself questions about my blocking that I couldn’t possibly answer without more thought into what is really supposed to be going on here. And then I realized I had never even asked those questions before.

I can’t place blame for these things. I think I maybe having trouble though because my husband is so upset at me for doing this show. And how it’s interfering with our time that I am reticent about working on it outside of rehearsal time because I don’t want him to be angry with me but that’s hurting my performance. I can’t keep going without doing the work that I have to do outside of the studio. So I am going to start doing the work right this second. I’m going to think about who I am and why I am. And I’m going to learn those lines so well they just spill out of me and ride on top of the action. Like Meisner would say I’m going to float them on top of the river of the emotion like a boat.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Off Book

I had my first off book rehearsals for both plays on Wednesday and Thursday. I told the director how new I was to the whole acting thing having been a performer as a dancer and using this to fulfill my ingrained performance needs. So on during rehearsals for Heart she had me and J do some acting exercises about listening. I really enjoyed them. But she's so concerned about being supportive and keeping our confidence up that she called me later that night to tell me not to think she was picking on me. I should have told her that coming from a dance background I would be way more concerned if she wasn't telling me how to improve often. As a dancer if your teacher doesn't tell you what's wrong with you at least once a class or rehearsal then you become complete distraught that the teacher or choreographer doesn't think that you are worth talking to because you'll never improve and then you'll never get cast again. It's a very twisted world dance. But I really liked the scene after the exercise so it felt like a useful and productive exercise.

I'm not sure how I feel about J. He's easy to work with. Very giving on stage. But off stage I'm at a complete loss on how to talk to him. Now it's probably totally my problem that I'm having a hard time being totally open with him on stage because I don't know how to deal with him off. And I am quite new to this so I know that I have a lot to learn about letting my guard down emotionally. But I wish I knew better how to be friendly with him in a real way so that I can bring that connection on stage rather than trying to produce it out of nowhere on stage. But that's what they call acting isn't it? And I'll have to learn it or never get any better at this craft.

Rehearsal for Sweetness was strange because E couldn't come because of car trouble. So it was just me and J. And I must admit that it was weird and oddly relaxing to work without doing the kissing scene. I SO have to get over my discomforture with that soon. I mean I AM getting better about it but it still makes me feel weird. I don't know how to explain it. Or why it bothers me SO much that I worry about it for hours before a rehearsal. I think it's the whole fear of letting go and being embarrassed again. So this show will be a real learning experience for me again. Every show is. Not be all gushy but I just love theater. It's always new and different. No matter how big or small your parts are. The playwright was there too so I was a little nervous at first about getting the words just right. Which is something I don't always worry about.

I am very much looking forward to my next rehearsals of both plays. Being off book is a really freeing experience. It's also a scary one where I realize that my body is act really strange. I do the limp wrist thing a lot on stage. I have no idea why. I'm going to spend a little bit more time looking at how I move during conversation in real life so I can figure out how to get myself to behave more naturally. I'm better off if I have a prop. I can always be natural when I have something in my hand.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Milos

Well, I didn't win. Oh well. But there was a great after party where I got to hang out with some of the cast members from the other shows and drink lots. And I did. Drink lots.

I had such a good time. This is such a great theater group. I'm so glad to be part of it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Milo Awards

Friday night is the Milo Awards. These are the Parkroad Playhouse's awards in twenty categories. You know best actress, best actor, best ensemble, best play, best musical, that sort of thing. I am nominated for best actress. I don't think I'll win because it was such a strange play and the awards are voted on by the subscribers. Other plays this season were more crowd pleasing like Lend Me a Tenor and Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff? As opposed to the two acted disconnected 28 scene oddity that is Reckless. But Rachel is a huge and demanding part so maybe I'll get points for the numerous jawbreaking monologues and the fac that I never left the stage. Except to change my clothes before the lights came back up. So wish me luck oh single reader of mine!


Last night was my third rehearsal for Hearts. The floor is being painted for Friday’s Milo Awards so we were in the rehearsal space which I never like. I thought Saturday was a real breakdown. Tonight was even more so. Almost line by line. Lots of looking away. And lots of real microdirection. One step here. Beat. Breathe in. Say the line. Sit on this word. I don’t know. Maybe when I own the lines a little better. Like when I’m off book next Tuesday it will feel a lot more natural. Right now I’m real mechanical. And I feel like all of the choices have been stripped from me. But it’s too early for that kind of complaint I guess. We still have to stage the fight. Not having the porch yet makes it impossible. I’m starting to feel like I’m not acting yet. And its funny but I’m not sure if I always feel like this at this point or not. It’s an odd feeling of isolation and disconnection from the other actors. Where I’m not really listen and I am over anticipating. And I’m worrying about what I look like. None of these things are good. But I’ll be off book tonight and hopefully we will be back in the theater.

Dirty Whore

Saturday was a killer day for me all around. First, that morning I got up and left the house by 8:30 am to drive to Hamden for the Great Park Pursuit. A contest my family and I are participating that requires a visit to a state park every Saturday where we complete some kind of activity in order to complete for the top three prizes of $5000 worth of camping equipment or two Kayaks or four mountain bikes. So we hike the 1.6 miles up the Sleeping Giant to the tower to take our picture and down again all as quickly as we could and in the pouring rain. Then after my mother picks up my son J. My husband C and I drive to New Fairfield to pick up a pool that we were getting from this couple from craigslist. We had to take the whole thing apart. And I don’t know if you’ve ever taken a pool apart but it is filthy backbreaking work that went on for about 3 and half hours. And we still weren’t done but I had to bolt because I had to get to rehearsal by five and I hadn’t eaten since breakfast.

So I get to rehearsal at 10 after 5 having eaten fast food which I am completely against because it makes me feel like complete crap and well we could go into how it doesn’t jive with my politics but then we would be completely off topic. And I am a muddy sweaty stinky mess too. And exhausted. Yeah!

Saturday, is a double rehearsal for me two hours of Heart followed by two hours of Sweetness. G is leaving early from the Heart rehearsal so they spend the whole time she is available on the opening which is Gracie and Mama so I don’t have to go on right away which is awesome. Because I lie on the floor and pass out. For about 20 minutes. Finally, it’s my turn to go on. So I do my thing. Using the accent I have been practicing for hours with Chris in the car rides to and from New Fairfield. Which I must say is starting to come out quite awesome! Yippee! And the director, K, is very much into breaking things down smaller and smaller. So it’s two or three lines and then we run it again mode. So I do my three lines and then when I go off to redo the entrance. K is also into private direction. Quietly to the individual so that we are working at cross purposes without knowing the other person’s purpose. I like this method a lot. So her private direction to me? “You know how gross you feel right now? Go with it. Dirty dirty whore.” I tried. Although, I don’t think I succeeded that well on Saturday because of sheer exhaustion. I will never ever again pack that much stuff in right before a rehearsal. It is too hard to summon the kind of energy that I need for either play.

After G left we skipped to the end where it is just Grace and Chloe. And then we get the part where Grace says she loves me and then K has Grace kiss me and I realize that I totally misread that last scene. What an ass. I totally thought that we were just sisterly. But it was okay because I am just sisterly. So I actually got the real shock going on when she kissed me. Not that I actually minded so much. I forgot what it was like to kiss a girl. She’s so soft. No stubble. It’s really nice.

Then ten minute break and on to Sweetness. We did a little bit of reblocking and we did finally do the kiss with E. Which isn’t so bad after all. I am worried about the going into the water bit and how I am going to get myself back on stage. She keeps changing her mind. And we still don’t have the platform so I still have fear of falling to hard and dumping E and his wheel chair off of it. But the whole kicker of that rehearsal was that I needed to be off book for Wednesday. And I hadn’t even begun yet.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

First Rehearsal - Sweetness and Light.

Last night was a ridiculously fun rehearsal. The cast is comprised of me (Jules), E (Jake), and J (TJ). E has to sit in his wheelchair the whole time. Playing a quadriplegic and all. And on the floor we have marked the “dock” which is this narrow two feet where all of the action is going to take place. It’s barely a foot wider than the chair so I am mighty excited about the first time we dump E off of it when we start rehearsing on it next week. We are supposed to be drinking tequila so we keep slugging off of the water filled bottle we have and at one point I came to the realization that if we really drank as much tequila as we do so far we would be slammed. So that thought led us to decide that we were going to try doing the scene and drinking tequila for real. Just to see how it goes.

Unfortunately, I have forgotten all of the really inappropriate quadriplegic jokes that came up and I will definitely make note of them next time. There is a silly amount of laughing that happens. But we actually got the whole act blocked and an hour before schedule. And lucky them they all went out for a cocktail after. Me, I’ve barely got enough money for the gas to and from rehearsals so I begged off. But I can’t keep that up. I’ll have to dig money up from somewhere so that I can join in the revelry and do the bonding thing. Seems the only one I’m bonding with is the 18 year old stage-manager because he will let me bum the occasional smoke.

This morning when I looked at my knees I also realized I was going to have to invest in some knee pads due to the amount of kneeling I do at the side of the wheel chair. I also spend a bunch of time sitting on E in the chair. Did I mention the kiss? Well, we didn’t stage it yet but just standing next E while J read the lines has made me even more nervous. It’s a long time. I mean a very long time. Them I have to get thrown off of him into the water where I’ve been told I will need to run into the shower in order to get drenched for my next entrance. Thank the flying spaghetti monster that it’s the last play of the evening. And whoever’s running the shower for me had better run it hot. And I hope my costume doesn’t consist of a white t-shirt.

So now for the hard work. I really want to have the lines down for Saturday’s rehearsal. And still no response yet from craigslist. Who would let me only put up one post asking for someone to talk to even in different states. I thought that was stupid. I need to reach as many people as possible. I doubt it’ll be easy to find someone who wants to just chat with a stranger.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

First Rehearsal - Heart Suspended

The first rehearsal was a first rehearsal. The process was to read a scene and move naturally and then go back and take a little direction on it piece by piece until K, the director, felt we were moving in the right direction. And then rerun the whole thing. We got through about ¾ of the act. M (Grace) & G (Mama) were doing a southern highland’s accent and J (Tom) and I (Chloe) were doing Louisiana. It was pretty unclear to us where the show actually took place other than general “South.” Turns out J and I were wrong. Oh well. I think the easiest way for me to learn the accent would be to go off book before the next rehearsal on Saturday and I’m going to put an ad up on craigslist to see if someone from North or South Carolina or Georgia (or is Georgia lowlands too? I’ll have to look that up) is willing to converse with me for a couple of hours while I soak up their accent by immersion.

So my big shocker was that “my…unchristian like behavior” that I talk about in the show isn’t just that I have a few boyfriends and drink and smoke. No, I actually prostitute myself to get what I want. Which is much father than I was thinking. And, truthfully, makes my life a lot easier. Chloe seemed easier when I thought about her that way. I’m not chafing at my bonds of southern woman in the 50’s I have fucking broken right out of them. It made it easier to breathe life into her. I actually like Chloe a lot better now. She has more strength and more depth.

I like the cast. M is very sweet as Grace. And J is appropriately shy and earnest. And G is going to make a mean drunk. I can’t wait to stage our fight scene. I always like the physical scenes and nothing is quite as physical as a good fight scene. I also like K as a director. I guess if I was going to say that I had one complaint it would be that says “Okay. Awesome! Now if you could just…” that I no longer believe that anything is “Awesome!” But it’s better to have someone supportive than have someone who gives you nothing but criticism with no positive reinforcement. Or someone who gives you nothing. She also gives good motivation direction. She asks questions and she tells you things about your character that are very helpful. And pretty decisive too. I like that.

After rehearsal I told K that I was freaking out about kissing E in Sweetness and she promised to make it comfortable for me. She even suggested that the four of us get together and do the scene while drink tequila. We drink tequila in the scene any way so she thinks it will help the mood and help us bond. And make kissing E easier. Which it probably will. I’m starting to think it’s the having the husband, C, all pissed off about me doing a show that is compounding my unease. But I’m sure I’ll get past it. Tonight is my first rehearsal for Sweetness and I am very much looking forward to it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Plays

I have just been cast in a production of three one acts by Betsey Macquire. I am going to have to correct that spelling having just come to the embarrassing conclusion that I have no idea how the playwright spells her name. The plays are Heart Suspended, The Wager, and Sweetness and Light. I have been cast in two of them.

In Heart Suspended I play an older cousin by marriage, Chloe, of a girl, Grace, who lives with her alcoholic mother after her father left her years ago. I like this part. I do not like the fact that I'm going to have to do an accent. Accents have never been my thing. And it's southern which is going to drive me to all sorts of odd cliché things I'm going to have to work my ass off to avoid.

Sweetness and Light is about three best friends. One of whom is a quadriplegic, Jake, who wants the other two, me, Jules, and TJ to push him off the dock so that he can drown. I have a kissing scene in this one. That’s the huge challenge for this one going right in. And to make matters worse I have to kiss the quadriplegic so basically it’s all me.

Tonight is the first rehearsal of Heart. We had a table read of all three on Friday night and I had a chance to meet the cast. I had met everyone in both of my casts before the read except for Mama from Heart. So that was comforting on some levels. I’ve worked with E who will be playing Jake in Sweetness in another one act called Stiff Cuff. Funny that was my only other stage kiss before and it was with him. I’m excited and as always scared that I won’t be able to live up the part. Here’s hoping all goes well.

I also wanted to give credit for the title of my blog. I was reading a blog about acting technique and I read that phrase the courage to be calm and I realized that was exactly what I needed to quell my unbelievable stage fright that sometimes makes it hard to just be natural on stage. And it really works. But I can’t give actual linky credit because I can’t remember where I read it. So I am going to keep on looking and looking and will give a link when I find it.